September 8, 2021
Your Midweek Update
Labor Day is now over, and we move into the fall season. In the midst of so much uncertainty in life, especially now, we give thanks that Jesus has indeed “done all things well,” as we heard in the Gospel lesson for this past Sunday (Mark 7:31-37 ESV).

In his ministry, Jesus fulfilled the prophetic words of Isaiah 35 (Isaiah 35 ESV), the appointed Old Testament lesson. Nothing is too hard for the Lord! May you draw strength and reassurance in your journey of faith through Jesus who has done all things well. 
From the Pastor's Desk - September 2021
Helping Those in Need

The devastation from Hurricane Ida in the Gulf Coast is still being assessed, but we already know that the need is great. Homes, businesses, and lives have been profoundly impacted by this disaster. Please consider a gift to LCMS Disaster Response which will help support those in need. Go to Disaster Response - The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod. If you are interested in volunteering on site at locations in need, click here to learn more about being a part of the Lutheran Early Response Teams.

There is great need in our world always, but especially now. As people continue to be evacuated from Afghanistan, and as people in Haiti recover from a devastating earthquake and hurricane, what can we do to help? The love of Jesus moves us to respond as individuals and as a congregation.

St. John’s Church Council met on Sunday, August 22, and is in the process of formulating a collective response on a congregational basis—more on that as plans develop. In the meantime, there is much that we can do as individuals. Please learn about what you can do to help Afghan allies and refugees through Lutheran Social Services of the National Capital Area. Consider what you can do to help in Haiti through the Village of Hope, the organization which our congregation has supported for many years by sending Servant Ministry Teams.
Church Flood Restoration Update
 
Work continues to restore flood-damaged areas of the Early Childhood Education Center (ECEC) and the Library at church. Work began last week on September 1 with drywall and painting, and flooring replacement choices have been made in both of these areas. However, we have learned from the vendor that it may be several weeks until the materials arrive from the manufacturer.
 
Mold has been detected in the duct work in one of the ECEC classrooms. This is an additional work order that must be handled separately before any other restoration work can take place in this particular room.
 
Exterior flood barriers have been placed both inside as well as outside along flood-prone areas of our church facilities. As the restoration work continues, we are seeking to address underlying issues such as topography, storm water management, and more effective drainage around the church property.
 
Thank you to volunteers who have pitched in to help in any way! We will keep the congregation informed as things move along.
Midweek Bible Study - “Parables: Stories for Life in God's World”
 
You are invited to join the Midweek Bible Class for a study of Jesus’ parables. Sessions are held on the second and fourth Wednesday of each month from 10:00-11:30AM. The first session will be held today, Wednesday, September 8.

Over the course of seven sessions, we’ll look at Jesus’ parables. Jesus was the master of the parable! Deceptively simple, these timeless stories were used by Jesus to bring new life to old ways. Led by the Holy Spirit, we will discover God's truth for today's dilemmas. Sessions include Introduction to Parables; Parables of Growth; Parables of Reversal; Parables of Preparedness; Parables of Decision; Parables of Treasure; and The Parable Tradition. Pastor Meehan will lead the class.

The cost of the participant resource book is $18 and can be obtained through the Church Office. To register for the Midweek Bible Class, as well as to get the participant resource book, please contact the Church Office, 703-971-2210.
Stuff the Bus - Saturday, September 11

It's time once again to "Stuff the Bus" throughout many Northern Virginia locations. Please consider stopping by one of the sites shown on the attached flyer on Saturday, September 11 between 10AM to 3PM and making a donation; items always in need are non-perishable food items, paper products, and cleaning supplies. This is a great way to support those in need in your community.
ESL Volunteers Still Needed
 
More than 140 adult students, including 24 from Afghanistan, have signed up for our fall English classes on Zoom. We are still in need of more volunteers to teach. If you’re moved by the plight of refugees and immigrants around the world, consider assisting those in our area by helping them learn English.

Volunteers teach one online class per week, Sept. 14-Nov. 18. Classes are held on Tuesdays and Thursdays, 10-11:30AM, or 7:30-9PM. (Students attend both days, but volunteers teach once a week.) Our adult English language learners are eager to learn and extremely appreciative. Training and books are provided. No experience necessary—just a smile and desire to help people from other countries!

For more information, click here or e-mail ESL Coordinator Dori McCormick
COVID-19 Mask Update

St. John's congregational leadership continues to closely monitor updates by the State of Virginia and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) on COVID guidance, the Delta variant, and wearing of mask protocols. The new CDC guidance related to the Delta variant updated their guidance on wearing a mask indoors in public, even if fully vaccinated. 
 
According to the current CDC tracking levels for community transmission, Fairfax County is now at the level of "substantial transmission." We are thus strongly encouraging that everyone, including individuals fully vaccinated against COVID-19, wear a mask in indoor settings. Click here for more information on Fairfax County COVID-19 guidelines.

If you have questions or concerns, please be in touch with the church office.
Homecoming Sunday

Mark your calendars for Sunday, September 12 - Homecoming Sunday at St. John’s! We are rebranding what we used to call “Rally Sunday” or “Kick-Off Sunday,” the start of a new year of Christian learning for all ages, and are calling this “Homecoming Sunday.” Why the change? The last 18 months have kept many people away from their church home, and so we want to invite people to come home to St. John’s on September 12.
 
On Sunday, September 12, we will begin the day with a special worship service in the Sanctuary at 9:30AM, followed by in-person Children’s Ministry and Adult Education at 11:00AM. Then at 12:00 noon, there will be a catered picnic box lunch which will be held on the church grounds. You are invited to come dressed in casual clothes on Sunday!

We will be celebrating the beginning of a new year of learning and growing in Jesus, but most of all we will be celebrating just being in fellowship with each other and welcoming both long-time and new church members and friends back to worship and other church activities. John Wright’s brass ensemble will provide special music for this occasion as well. We have invited the families of the students who attend our Early Childhood Education Center (ECEC), the Scouts, and the students and teachers of the English as a Second Language classes held at St. John’s.
 
Weather permitting, we will hold the event on the westside property of our church grounds. Although we will have plenty of tables and chairs available for seating, if you prefer a little more social distancing space, please feel free to bring some camp chairs and/or a blanket from home and enjoy your picnic lunch on the lawn. A limited amount of seating will also be available in the Fellowship Hall for those who prefer to eat inside. A head count of those who have RSVP'd has been sent to the company catering the picnic; therefore, registration for the meal has now been closed. Questions? Please contact Cathy Long, Minister of Connecting on St. John’s Church Council.
Fall Sunday Morning Schedule

The fall season will soon be here, and plans for St. John’s Sunday morning worship and education schedule are as follows beginning on Sunday, September 12 (Homecoming Sunday):
 
  • Worship with Holy Communion at 9:30AM – Through St. John’s Gathering Ministry that oversees the worship life of our congregation, we are planning to continue with the one Sunday morning worship service with Holy Communion at 9:30AM. We have not yet had 100 people in attendance at worship, and we believe it is better to have one service that is comfortably full rather than two services that are uncomfortably empty. This also allows those attending in person to see everyone at the same time vs. two different worshiping groups of people. Until such time as worship attendance warrants an additional service, we will continue with a single service on Sunday morning at 9:30AM. Live streaming of the Sunday worship service will continue.

  • Fellowship Time at 10:45AM – A brief time of fellowship will happen between the worship service and the Education Hour at 11AM. This affords all of us the opportunity to meet and greet one another in a time of fellowship.

  • Education Hour at 11:00AM – Learning opportunities for all ages will take place. Adults will meet on the upper level of the Education Center in Room 307-309. During the Fall season, the Sunday morning adult Bible class will focus on “When Heaven Meets Earth,” a 12-session Bible study on heaven from The Bible Project. Most of us have trouble understanding heaven as described in the Bible. This class, led by Eric Klanderman and Pastor Meehan, will look at what the Scriptures teach about heaven. To register for “When Heaven Meets Earth,” please email the Church Office or call 703-971-2210.

  • Prospective Member Course - For anyone interested in making St. John’s their home congregation, a prospective member class will be held in the Library during the Sunday morning Education Hour (11AM-12 Noon) starting on Sunday, September 12. “Discipleship 101” is a 7-week class that uses Scripture and Luther’s Small Catechism to explore both our faith as Lutheran Christians and our life together at St. John’s, weaving together visits from our ministry servant leaders with our congregation’s mission and vision. St. John’s New Member Team, together with Pastor Meehan, will lead this course. All materials will be provided. Please register through the Church Office, 703-971-2210.
Sunday Morning Children & Teens Ministry

Plans are underway to return to in person learning for Children’s Ministry in the 2021 school year. We will do so with the safety of all involved at the forefront of all we do. We’re keeping it simple this year. Working to rebuild relationships and reestablish routines. Our Sunday Morning's Children’s Ministry will be a simple hour (11AM until Noon), after our 9:30AM worship service which will help our kids connect to Jesus and to one another.

We have something for every age level:

  • Preschool (ages 3-4): Preschool children will meet in a self-contained classroom in the lower level of the Education Center.
  • Kids (grades K-6): Elementary children will meet in large and small groups in the Fellowship Hall.
  • Teens (grade 7-12): Middle & High School youth will meet in the Student Ministry Lounge (Room 305) on the upper level of the Education Center.

Click here to register for Sunday Morning Preschool, Kids, or Teens Ministry. For more information or with questions, contact DCE Jennifer Hills.
Installation of Senior Pastor of Prince of Peace
 
You are invited to the installation of Dr. Michael Hayes as Senior Pastor of Prince of Peace Lutheran Church, Springfield, on Sunday, September 19 at 4PM. Clergy are invited to robe and participate in the installation. Please bring red stoles. A catered meal will follow. If you and your family plan to attend, please contact Prince of Peace or call 703-451-5855).
Teacher Aide/Floater Position at St. John’s Early Childhood Education Center (ECEC)
 
St. John’s ECEC is looking for a floater/teacher aide to help in all the classrooms. This full-time position is open to anyone age 18 or older with some experience working with young children. Read more about the position here.
Holy Communion on Wednesdays at Noon will Continue

We have made the decision to continue the practice of celebrating Holy Communion at noon on Wednesdays. We ask that you continue to register in advance if you wish to receive Communion. The registration link will continue to be shown near the end of the Midweek Update each week.
Important Links

  • Registration for Holy Communion held on Wednesdays at noon.
  • Facebook Live for viewing live services or educational opportunities as well as those previously recorded.
  • YouTube for viewing church services
  • Click here and scroll down for the bulletins
www.sjlc.com | 703-971-2210
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